A positive workplace culture is so important to your overall well being – maybe even more so at nonprofits where a lot of you deal with difficult subjects for less compensation.

If you are in a position of management, how can you keep morale high at a nonprofit organization?

Recently, Katherine Wertheim at npEngage shared 10 Ways to Improve Moral at Nonprofit Organizations. You may not be able to control all of these if you aren’t the ED, but do what you can:

  1. Give all staff off every federal holiday.
  2. Titles are free. Give people a nice title that they can use proudly.
  3. Set people up for success in their roles.
  4. For heaven’s sake, have a training budget!
  5. Be honest with people when you’re looking to employ them.
  6. Deal with the problems you have, don’t expect a new hire to solve them.
  7. Consider having one week a year where you close your office.
  8. Consider expanding your paid vacation.
  9. Have one time a week that management sits down casually with any staff who wants to come and talk.
  10. Food helps people be happy.

Be sure to check out the full article for more insights into each tip.

Some Factors that Can Affect Morale

Implementing those tips may not help if you don’t address the root causes of bad morale.

  • Leadership. Probably the biggest contributor to morale is whether or not employees believe in their leaders and share a vision for the organization’s future.
  • Communication. It’s hard to share a vision when nothing is being said to employees. It’s also hard to know when something is wrong if you aren’t checking in regularly with your team.
  • Feedback/Appreciation. Most people like to know when they are doing a good job. Give your team some positive “shout-outs” whenever you can.
  • Training. You can’t feel satisfied with your work if you feel lost because you have no proper education. (See tip 4 above)
  • Outside Issues. It’s possible that you are doing great at keeping morale high, but sometimes outside complications like mental health or family concerns may impact attitudes on the job. Make sure you are doing what you can to support employees if this is the case.

Your turn to share! How do you and your organization help keep morale high? Or what do you wish your organization would do? Share in the comments…